South side gets a little more southern with new soul-food eatery


Mikal Moore, 32, has worked in the restaurant industry since he was 16, including 12 years as a district manager for the Tampa, Florida-based fast food chain Rally’s. However, shortly after starting his career, the native of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, began dreaming of creating his own culinary venture.

“I’ve been wanting to own a restaurant since I was about 17 or 18 years old. Just by working with different concepts over the years and going to school, I feel like I’ve spent most of my life preparing for it,” he said.

The right situation finally presented itself when he moved from Daytona Beach, Florida, to Lansing last August.

“I originally wanted to do a soul-food restaurant in Florida but ended up coming to Michigan. Once I got to Lansing, I saw that there was a good market for soul food, so I started debating on names. I wanted to do something with my grandmother’s name, Carrie Anderson, which is how Carrie’s Kitchen came about,” he explained.

The restaurant, located in a 4,400-square-foot building that previously housed alcohol-free sports bar Wing Heaven Sports Haven until its closure in 2022, celebrated its grand opening yesterday (June 25).

Though Anderson, who still lives in Fort Lauderdale, couldn’t make it out to the grand opening, Moore expects her to visit soon to see her namesake establishment. He said he grew up on her cooking.

“She made soul food, she made a lot of breakfast — she just all around cooked. She’s very excited to see the restaurant,” he said, adding that he “kind of piggybacked” off his grandmother for some menu items, particularly desserts.

In terms of entrees, Moore hopes Lansing guests will be blown away by the oxtail, a specialty plate that’s only served on Wednesdays and Sundays.

“I’ve been surprised at how many people I’ve come across in Lansing who have never had oxtail, so I think that’s going to be huge for us,” he said.

Moore expects the pot roast to be another hit, though his personal favorite dish is the four-cheese macaroni. The menu also includes catfish, collard greens, fried chicken and other soul-food staples.

The space was fully renovated in the months leading up to yesterday’s opening. All that’s left to finish is a private party room, which Moore said is still awaiting some decor and furniture.

Moore is also working on opening a separate restaurant in Grand Rapids early next year, which will be named Mari’s after his son, Jamari Moore. In the meantime, he’s looking forward to seeing the community come out and try his carefully crafted soul food at Carrie’s Kitchen.

“It’s going to be a nice, family-oriented environment. My grandmother is a very family-oriented person — I remember going to her house for the holidays and having fun and a lot of laughter. I think that’s going to be something great that people can expect from the time they arrive to the time they leave,” he said.


Carrie's Kitchen, Mikal Moore, Carrie Anderson, restaurant, new, business, soul food, Jamari Moore


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